Sitting Shiva for Elizabeth Wurtzel

Elizabeth Wurtzel

The year was 2003. America and Israel were fighting their respective endless wars, and as per the tradition of my Orthodox Jewish community I left home to grow my soul in the holy dirt of an Israeli Yeshiva. The transition trashed my fragile personality. Leaving Brooklyn stripped the meager armor I accumulated and left me confused by violent homosexual thoughts, unprotected from unexplored regions of self-hatred, and sickened by vivid day dreams of suicide. Life was suddenly plague-of-darkness level dark and I had no words but inarticulate howls. I was terrified to tell my parents, scared to let down my rabbi (his counsel would be to find a therapist who would not turn me away from God), and frightened to push away my friends. Each day to cope, I huddled, still clothed, into a spiraled scrawny mass on the dirty bathroom floor, crying into a warm amniotic sac of shower water and my tears. It was bad. 

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Chocolate : The Heat of Our Thoughts — An Excerpt From Lance Olsen’s “My Red Heaven”

"My Red Heaven" cover

Lance Olsen’s new novel My Red Heaven follows a host of characters in Berlin over the course of one day in 1927. At times, Olsen’s prose tells of artistic breakthroughs; at others, such as the excerpt featured here, he gradually takes the reader into a more nightmarish space. In the midst of Modernism’s rise, Olsen pays homage to Modernist writing, even as he pushes onwards into haunting historical vistas. My Red Heaven will be released by Dzanc Books on January 21st.

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“I Just Like Creating Art”: An Interview With Troy James Weaver

Troy James Weaver

A Troy James Weaver story reminds me of when I want to eat at a Waffle House, by myself. Or go to DisneyLand, but just to walk around. He depicts the awareness of being alone in a crowded space better than any writer I know. Of the calculated, precise sentences of Édouard Levé or Gary Lutz, but with a humble radiance that seems ready to explode in a vicious hellfire at any moment, Selected Stories is the collection you run looking for because you left it in the corner booth at the 24-hr. diner just before the apocalypse. 

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